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Tigers face off Ireland for elusive Test victory

Update : 04 Apr 2023, 05:03

Bangladesh are expected to snap their losing streak in red ball cricket when they take on an inexperienced Ireland side in the one-off Test at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today (Tuesday).

The match starts at 10 AM and will be aired live on T-sports Channel.

The Tigers are going through a bad patch in this format, having lost eight Tests and drawn one after their landmark Test victory in New Zealand in early 2022. Also Bangladesh haven't won a Test at home since their victory against Zimbabwe in 2020, reports BSS.

Even though Ireland won the last T20 against the hosts to register their first victory on Bangladesh soil, the Test game is highly likely to be one-sided affair. Ireland which got the Test status in 2017, played only three Tests with the last in 2019. They lost all of the Test matches duly.

In the last Test against England, they though showed a promising sign by bowling out the oldest cricket nation for just 85 runs in the first innings. They then put up 207 runs to take a valuable lead but their lack of experience in longer version format was widely exposed as the game progressed as they were all out for just 38 runs, chasing a 182-run target to eventually loss the game by 143 runs.

They also lost inaugural Test against Pakistan by five wickets and second Test against Afghanistan by seven wickets.

However, Ireland have just four survivors from their last Test in 2019 and included nine uncapped players in their Test squad for Bangladesh. Three of them have never played first-class cricket. Opposite them are Bangladesh, with 473 caps in their Test squad.

While the gulf of difference between the two teams in terms of experience is clearly open, Ireland also proved them a no match for Bangladesh in white- ball leg of the series. They lost the ODI series by 2-0, one game was washed out and were outplayed in T20 series by 2-1.

Bangladesh indeed created and rewrote national records in every game they played, barring the third T20 match, which they lost, paying the price of their ultra-aggressive cricket. If Bangladesh played safe cricket, they would have won that game too but the Tigers didn't back out from the brand what they want to expertise.

Paul Striling who led the team from the front in the third T20 flew to Ireland as he is not the part of the Test squad. But regular captain Andrew Balbirnie is back to lead the side. Also Ireland will get Peter Moor, who moved away from Zimbabwe to take the Irish citizenship.

Moor played eight Test matches for Zimbabwe while Ireland as a team played only three Tests. No doubt Moor, who played his last Test in 2018, that too in Dhaka, will give Ireland batting line up a boost.

Bangladesh announced a full strength team with Captain Shakib Al Hasan and his deputy Liton Das being named when there was a speculation that they might get NOC for IPL. Opener Tamim Iqbal and fast bowler Ebadot Hossain, called as Sylhet Rocket by fast Bowling Coach Alan Donald are back to the side after missing the India Test. Zakir Hasan, who sustained a thumb injury, is the big miss after a successful Test series against India.

When everything appeared to be in Bangladesh's control, allrounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz said they just can't afford to be complacent.

"We nearly won our last Test in this ground against India. It is our lucky ground. We have won Tests here before. We cannot take Ireland lightly. We respect them. We will give our best," Miraz said.

"The confidence within this team, keeps us in a good position. Since we haven't won here for a while, it will be a good feeling if we can win."

Overall Bangladesh's Test statistics is utterly disappointing. After playing 136 matches, they won just 16 and lost a staggering number of 102 matches. The rest of the 18 matches ended in a draw, most of which came, thanks to rain.

Squad:

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Litton Das (Vice Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam and Mahmudul Hasan Joy

Ireland: Andy Balbirnie (Captain), Peter Moor (wk), Lorcan Tucker (wk), George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Curtis Campher, Harry Tector, Murray Commins, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Matthew Humphreys and Ben White.

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